J'Nefer's Initiation Journey With Your Help

J'Nefer's Initiation Journey With Your Help

From Jennifer Higgins

Please assist me in reaching my goal for last-minute expenses and traveling ‘change’. Any and all support is welcomed with a heart full of gratitude -- and may all investments return to you in the form of good fortune.

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Six years ago I learned I had a spiritual calling to be a Iyanifa. From that moment on my life was forever changed.     

What is an Iyanifa?   

An Iyanifa is a high priestess of the Yoruba spiritual tradition.  They are often revered for their humility, conviction, honesty and sincerity and are devoted to helping their community/clients avert trouble and harm, through their ability to perform divination.  Iyanifas (as well as their male counterparts, Babalawos) have the ability to convey the intentions of Olodumare (the Supreme Intelligence) by consulting Orunmila—witness to all choice of destiny—through various Ifa oracles. 


After leaving the District of Columbia Public School System in 2017, I began a quest to heal myself from a fairly misunderstood medical condition called fibromyalgia.  I began to seek alternative spiritual methods because western doctors were never able to explain why I would get terribly ill and find myself in chronic pain and angst for days, sometimes weeks, at a time.   I discovered that my symptoms were what is known as "the birth of a healer and the calling of the ancestors” and that mental health dysfunction is a spiritual emergency or crisis, which needs to be regarded as such in order to aid a HEALER in being BORN.

It is my thought that there is a strong need for this understanding in the United States, and throughout the Diaspora.  Afrikan people would greatly benefit from discovering the ways of our ancestors— traditional healing and natural solutions.  As "The Integrative School Psychologist," my mission is clear:  To be a bridge between the traditional and the modern approaches to holistic development, wellness and education AND bring awareness to my people afflicted with the stigmas of mental dysfunction.  But of course, the work of an Iyanifa goes way beyond healing and alleviating illness…

To become an initiate of Ifa requires arduous and laborious training which I have only just begun.  The calling is regarded as a gift and a great honor.  Thus, I give thanks to Oluwo Ifakunle Odutolu, as well as my former teacher Yuya Assaan-ANU for transmitting a wealth of knowledge; preparing my ebos; and bringing overall clarity as to what I have been called to do.

This journey has not been easy, and has required me to give away many comforts to live a more disciplined, character-driven life.  In return, I've been favored with some of the most incredible opportunities and experiences that I would not trade for the world.  

Undoubtedly my spiritual calling will continue to take me places I could never imagine, but now (September 2022) it is time to take what I’ve learned so far and complete my Orisha Initiation— the next step in my journey.  Orisha Initiation is an act of being reborn into a new role/life that will bring about necessary and positive changes leading me on my path of achieving my destiny. 

This pilgrimage back to the land of my forefathers is not just for myself, but for my community here in the Washington, DC area.  I will be leaving for Nigeria on September 3rd for a 7-day journey to complete several rites and ceremonies in front of elders and the local community in Ogun State. 

I pray that I grow to be like my elders— seeking to uplift those around me while concurrently revitalizing the Sacred Tradition of my ancestors.  I pray that my ancestors continue to strengthen the Iwa-pele (gentle character) in me so that I, too, can continue to play my sacred role in the community.   I am committed to this path and need the support of my community.    

Please assist me in reaching my goal of $900 for last-minute expenses and traveling ‘change’.  Any and all support is welcomed with a heart full of gratitude -- and may all investments return to you in the form of good fortune. 

I pay homage to the Egun (my ancestors); the elders and Oluwo of Egbe Ifa L’Onile; my Yeye Sacred; and, of course, my husband David for continued support throughout this process. 

Ayanmo ni iwa pele; iwa pele ni Ayanmo.

Modupe (Give Thanks),

Iya J’Nefer

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